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Home / News / Community asset designation lost on appeal

Community asset designation lost on appeal

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Published 10:57 on 2 Mar 2024

South Windermere Sailing Club (SWSC) was disappointed to learn on 23 February that YMCA Fylde Coast has successfully appealed the recent designation of the SWSC area of YMCA North Camp as an Asset of Community Value (ACV). The whole of the North Camp is now designated as an "unsuccessful nomination" of an ACV by the Westmorland & Furness Council.

SWSC has sought from the outset to work with YMCA to find a solution which supported YMCA Lakeside financial goals while securing the future of the family-friendly sailing club. The ACV designation would have assisted the SWSC in working with the prospective purchaser, Lakes Luxury Accommodation (LLA), and the YMCA to include the sailing club at North Camp. The designation also contributed to the club envisioning a community site if the opportunity arose, working with other sailing groups to ensure access to Lake Windermere for affordable and accessible dinghy sailing for the future. The vision included opportunities for existing North Camp tenants, including the Freshwater Biological Association, a café that prepares local school meals, and a watersports rental facility, to continue operations.

The reversal is based on legal technicalities rather than the merit of the club as a community asset. Club members and petition supporters continue to be concerned that the prospective sale means that one of the last remaining areas of lake frontage will be prioritised for tourist activity instead of ensuring continued community access for existing sports and local community businesses.

While acknowledging the challenges posed by the prospective sale, there is a determination to draw on the positive nature of the club community and the support SWSC has received through its petition and from local, regional and national organisations. Building on the stated support for the club by YMCA, LLA and Westmorland & Furness councillors, the focus is on exploring potential solutions that align with the inclusive community values of this small, family-friendly sailing club which has produced both Olympic racing sailors and those with enthusiasm just to learn to sail.

Sara Speicher, SWSC Commodore said, "Yes, this is a legal setback, but there is hope that through open dialogue and collaborative efforts a solution, which may mean a new location by the conclusion of our lease in December 2026, can be identified that not only supports the club's inclusive mission but is also an opportunity to link with a wider community. SWSC remains committed to finding common ground and working towards a future that preserves family-friendly sailing in the area. We hope the YMCA, LLA and Westmorland & Furness Council will assist us in our efforts."

Last updated 20:31 on 21 May 2024

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